Flushing Airport opened in 1927 as Speed's Airport (named for part-owner Anthony "Speed" Hanzlick). For a time it was the busiest airport in New York. However, two factors combined to take business away. The first was the opening of the North Beach (soon renamed LaGuardia) airport only a few short miles away in 1937, which with its longer runways and more spacious terminal drew away commercial traffic. The second and more serious threat was from Mother Nature. Flushing Airport had been built on a swamp and the centre of its main runway was below sea level, which made drainage difficult if not impossible. However, Flushing Airport did see continuous use until the 1980s, when the neighbourhood's clamors for its shutdown were finally heard.
Part of the airport is now home to the physical plant of the New York Times, but the main runway, puddles and all, is still clearly visible in the satellite image.